Power Out, Power Up: What 48 Hours Without Electricity Looks Like

In case you were wondering, yes we were one of the 4 million+ households along the Eastern Sea Board that lost power during Irene.  We’ve had power outtages before, but I’ve never gone without power for this long.  Well, unless you count camping trips.  Which I hate.  With a passion.


We lost power in the middle of the day on Sunday, August 28 (which, incidentally is my brother’s birthday.  But he was in Utah at the time, so he had power.)  It wasn’t that big a deal at first since we were anticipating that it would happen at some point, so we’d already made dinner, gotten out candles and flashlights, taken showers, done some laundry and made other preparations, so it was no big deal.

Until the next morning.  When the power still wasn’t on.  So, it was time to start coping…

First things first.  Eat ALL the ice cream.  You know, lest it all melt and go to waste.Unfortunately it’d pretty much melted during the night, so while there were no ice cream cones to be had, there were plenty of milkshakes.  Wahoo.  These guys were happy.

What hard work, huh?  I don’t know how we lived through that morning.  Okay not really – it was pretty awesome.  So then, we had to figure out how to entertain ourselves, and the kids.  After all, no power = no computers, no YouTube videos, no blogs, no Facebook status updates, no DVDS, no books on tape, no hanging out in any of our own rooms (we live in a basement, so it was pitch black down there), no vacuuming, no use of our own bathroom or other waterworks (below grade = electric pump), etc.  Our solution…

Go outside.  All day.

I think it turned out okay…

Dale’s judo skills hard at work here.

Apparently this is what I look like from behind right after I realize that the tomatoes are sprawling because nobody caged them, and the ragweed is taking over the garden because somebody thought it was a flower, or that it would produce a vegetable.  Time to go a-weeding.  Welp, at least it’s a powerless activity.

Dinner on the grill, then some good D&D action by candlelight.  Really sets the mood.

Kids went down relatively early, what with it being so much darker so much earlier than they’re used to.  The next day I was a little outside-ed out, so while my little ones galavanted around the yard with their dad, I stayed inside to:

Play games with my sisters…

Found some non-electronic toys for my baby…

and helped my mom clean out the freezer.

Then my boy came inside and we took pictures together:

We make a great team, don’t we?  The three of us?

B also drew a whale for me on his mini-magnadoodle (another powerless toy).  Admittedly he started out trying to draw a flower… but he didn’t do half bad if I do say so myself:

Then we all went outside to be part of the excitement of putting up the hammock!  We did everything on the “Hammock Experience” checklist:

Read/take a nap:

Pile everybody on the hammock:

And accidentally dump ourselves out:

It was right about that time that the power came back on, and while everybody else celebrated by turning on the computers and tvs, I celebrated by… vacuuming.  Which, interestingly, I’d been dying to do ever since the power went out.  What a mom, huh?

Wow, that’s been one of the longest posts I’ve ever done!  Must be all the pictures, right?  I’ve come out of it with tons of ideas for things we can do to prepare for next time we have a power outtage, what kinds of things we’d need to be better prepared for long-term powerless-ness, and ideas for things to blog about!  Plus, we got a nice break from being so sedentary and technology-dependant.  So all in all, it was a very positive experience for us.

Thanks so much for sticking with me all the way through the post!  If you’ve gotten this far, you’re officially in the running for “My Best Friend” status.

What do you and your family do to prepare for blackouts?  What do you do during blackouts to pass the time?  Do you have any special traditions?  Let me know so we can start copying you!

5 thoughts on “Power Out, Power Up: What 48 Hours Without Electricity Looks Like

  1. It’s a nice wake up call when you’re forced to be without technology for ANY period of time. I’m pretty certain Lindey would die to go 24 hours without her computer. It’s a reminder that there’s life outside of technology.

    • Agreed. I had a hard time since I’ve just gotten into the groove of blogging and I wanted so much to get on and do my posts, read everybody else’s posts, keep up that routine, you know? But it was great for that mini-purge. Maybe we should make that a more regular thing, kind of like fasting every month…

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